A Question for CSGer's about Archives

[From Bill Powers (990925.1114 MDT)]

Marc Abrams (990925.1141)--

Your work on the archives is probably the most important thing going on in
PCT right now. I hope you get some help. Anyone who joins with you in this
project will be helping to determine what future generations know about
what we're trying to do.

Best,

Bill P.

from [ Marc Abrams (990925.1141) ]

First some background. I am reminded of an old joke told by an American
comedian named Gallagher. It went like this. "If the Us Government was
really serious about cutting the budget they would let the Jehovah's
Witness's deliver the mail. They knock on everybody's door anyway. The
analog here is that I am going through the archives for my own purposes
doing some *due diligence* for my work with CT ( I don't like the "P", it's
to restricting :slight_smile: ).

Gary Cziko, I believe was the first to archive all the posts ( Bill did it
as well when he came on the net ) Greg Williams then took on the role and
Dag Forssell followed. Greg Williams audio taped the earlier conferences
(Pre 1993) and Dag video taped the conferences from 1993 to the present,
except for 1995. I also believe that there is a two year overlap (93 and 94
of audio and video )

In the early days of the net Greg Williams and Ed Ford published the _Closed
Loop_ The Journal of CT then PCT. Greg and Ed did a terrific job. I was
fortunate when Dag was nice enough to loan me a copy to review. For those
who are unfamiliar with it, Greg Williams compiled three months worth of
posts on the net into a "conversational" compilation on different subjects.
He did not simply compile all the posts on a particular subject. He edited
them so it read like a discussion between the people. He did a terrific job.
Ed was ( I believe ) responsible for editing it and actually publishing it.
It went to dues paying members of CSG and was _cheap_.

I bring this all up because as I have been going through the archives I have
been doing several things. One, I have separated each post into it's own
*.pdf file and added a number of fields ( for searchability ), besides the
normal ones ( i,e, Name, Date, Subject ) to each post. Things like, Key
words, the "real" subject of the post. ID#, Thread name, and Responding to,
I have also used a spell checker One set of files will be in this format
one will be in the original unaltered ASCII

I need to mention that _most_ of the basic drudge work of cleaning up the
original ASCII files was done by Greg and then Dag. Folks this is a _ton_ of
work. I am currently on disability so time is one thing I have :-). I also
need to say that this work helps keep me alive.

So why this post? While I have been doing this I have been reading each
post, and as I do, I have developed this nasty habit of saying "Oh, this is
interesting" and I'd open a new folder give it a name and collect the posts
pertaining to the subject. :-). Well one particular thread, _The Randy
Beer's Cockroach model_, still going strong after 167 _Pages_. The _Closed
Loop_ came to mind. There are other threads that absolutely wonderful and
should be _must_ reading for anyone interested in CT.

Dag, a number of years ago ( not to many :slight_smile: ) put together a number of
different posts ( usually not entire threads ) by subject, on his demo
disks. I have been using his initial set of subjects ( and started some new
ones :slight_smile: ). To gather all these threads.

So my questions to you are;

1) Is there anyone out there willing to work with me on organizing these
threads ala _Closed Loop_ so we can put them on the web site for everyone's
use and enjoyment

2) What would you folks like to see? Since I'm going to be going through
every post anyway Are there any desires for any specific formatting,
searching capabilities, or such?

If anyone would like the archives as presently configured ( organized by
date, in weekly increments in ASCII ) Let me know. I will be happy to
provide a CD in exchange for a CD-RW ( a re-writable cd ) and postage. The
CD you get back will not be re -writable.

Marc

from [ Marc Abrams (990925.2338) ]

Bill, Phil and Rick.

Thanks. Kind words from kind people. I appreciate it. Dag and I both feel as
strongly as you do about the historical importance and significance of this
work. I am really happy I have the ability to contribute in this way.

Again, thanks for the kind thoughts.

Marc

Phil Runkel on 25 Sept 99 replying to Marc Abrams"s of 990925:

Marc, thanks very much for the work you are doing with the archives. Some
of us will profit immediately from what you are doing, and I have no doubt
whatever that many people in the future, beyond our knowing, will be
grateful to you and those others you mentioned for making the record so
much more complete and accessible than it would otherwise have been.

I could write about how much I want PCT to remain easily available -- how
valuable it becomes in many ways to people who work some at trying to
think that way. But it would take me an hour or two to say it in a way
that would not leave me embarrassed at my ineptitude. So I'll just say
once more: Thank you very much.

[From Rick Marken (990925.1130)]

Marc Abrams (990925.1141)

I agree with Bill Powers (990925.1114 MDT); what you are doing
is a wonderful contribution to PCT.

1) Is there anyone out there willing to work with me on
organizing these threads ala _Closed Loop_ so we can put
them on the web site for everyone's use and enjoyment

I'm afraid I'm too busy making new threads;-) but I'm certainly
happy to put your finished product on the web.

2) What would you folks like to see? Since I'm going to be
going through every post anyway Are there any desires for any
specific formatting, searching capabilities, or such?

I suppose I shouldn't make suggestions if I'm not willing to help
but...

1) I would like to see them consistently formatted and edited
(for grammar, spelling (my forte;-)) and just plain old
mistakes). When there is a question about how something should
read it should often be possible to get in touch with the
original author; I believe that the biggest contributors to
CSGNet are still here.

2) Along those lines, I think it might be useful to include
in the archives current reflections on old posts (or threads)
by the authors of those posts (or contributors to those threads).
For example, I would be interested in hearing Bill's reflections
on the Beer Bug thread. Or Martin Taylor's reflections on the
"information about the disturbance" thread. These comments could
be included as "footnotes" to the archive document that could
easily accessed on the web by hyperlinks. I thought of this
while I was re-reading the old post from Bill [Bill Powers
(920212.1200)] that you posted. I would love to read the whole
thread (in which I'm sure I participated) to see if I would
deal with it any differently now.

Best

Rick

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Richard S. Marken Phone or Fax: 310 474-0313
Life Learning Associates e-mail: rmarken@earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rmarken/